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Oct 3, 2022

New School Thinking, Old School Values

Barry Kaufman

Photography By

Old Coast HVAC
Old Coast Heating & Air Conditioning has a radical approach to service: actually doing the job right. Now that’s cool.

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It’s been said by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to your youth football coach that doing the easy thing isn’t always right, and doing the right thing isn’t always easy. It’s something we hear repeatedly throughout our life, but we never really listen to it. We nod our head in agreement, then keep on doing things the way that is going to give us the fewest hassles.

Well, we should say most of us never listen to it. Zachary Friedman, president and owner of Old Coast Heating & Air Conditioning, was clearly taking notes when he first learned the virtues of doing a job correctly.

“We produce a higher tier of quality work and a better level of customer service,” he said. “It’s the proper approach. Hopefully someday more companies will be doing things the right way. Until now, at least there’s one of us.”

It’s a bold declaration of old-school values. When you talk to Friedman, you see that heating and air is so much more than just thermostats and vents. It’s a service delivered with unimpeachable effort. It’s the comfort that comes with a home free of hot spots and drafts, feeling perfect humidity, and even lower bills to top it all off. And it’s peace of mind that comes with knowing Old Coast backs up its old-school approach with some serious cutting-edge smarts.

“There is just a constant use of science and math. It’s the number one thing everyone is supposed to be doing but doesn’t,” Friedman said. “That’s not just my opinion; that comes from the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). Nine out of ten companies won’t do this kind of research because either they don’t know what they’re doing or they don’t care.”

Friedman talks about air conditioning like he’s delivering a Ted talk, dropping knowledge left and right about thermodynamics, efficiency factors, and an esoteric field known as “envelope science.”

“That’s essentially the notion that air conditioning is much more than the equipment and duct work,” he said. “The envelope is what it’s housed in—the passive part of what makes the whole thing work. If you look at it like a car, the envelope is the chassis, and the equipment is the mechanicals. You start by fixing the source. Then you fix the equipment.”

He also points out that Old Coast technicians in the field share this same dedication to taking a smarter approach to heating and air. “To be a good technician, you have to be part mechanic, part plumber, part electrician, part carpenter; you have to know all of the trades,” he said. “You can’t just be excellent in one area. You must be excellent in all of them.”

Old Coast is imparting this wisdom to the next generation through its apprenticeship program in Savannah. Having serviced Hilton Head Island for years, Old Coast set its flag down by opening its location here, helmed by David Roy.

“Our mission here goes far beyond the workplace. It’s important to us to be a part of the community and to give back,” Roy said. Immersing themselves in the island, Old Coast has sponsored high school athletics and has helped keep the Island Rec Center cool and comfortable. “We’ve been there all this week getting them clean, doing all the maintenance and making sure they’re taken care of.”

And here again we see the old-school conscientious approach that Old Coast follows. They didn’t have to give so much back to the community. But they did. They don’t have to go the extra mile for each customer. But they do. And they don’t have to build a PhD-level knowledge of AC science to keep your home comfortable. But they do.

Because, as Friedman says, “It’s the proper approach.”

For more information, visit or call (843) 352-4745.

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